The students plan to file RTIs seeking a tentative date of university reopening.

Students of EFLU Hyderabad protesting outside campus with placardsFile photo of EFLU Hyderabad students protesting
news Education Monday, May 30, 2022 - 11:22

Babu* (name changed) was elated when he got an admission for a BA programme in one of the premier institutes in the country — English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad — last year. The prospect of moving out of his native town in Tamil Nadu and exploring the student life in Hyderabad excited him. However, almost after a year of attending classes online, he has been contemplating quitting the programme, and also wondering if he made a wrong choice by selecting EFLU over other universities.

With the university yet to resume offline classes while other universities in the country are functioning normally, Babu and his classmates are growing restless and are charting out an action plan, demanding the college and the hostels to reopen for BA students. The university, which has been closed since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, decided to reopen the institute in a phased manner following a decline in COVID-19 cases. As part of the plan, the university reopened for MA final year students and first year students in February and March this year, respectively.

“Only MA students and International students are presently residing in the hostels. Classes for us have not resumed yet. Our campaigns demanding a tentative date have been met with silence. This is making us anxious,” shared another student, Geeta*. 

Geeta and other BA students (around 300 of them) as part of a campaign to resume offline education, sent letters via email to the university registrar in January this year, she said. “But we did not get any response. All our friends who have applied elsewhere have started going to college regularly, while we are still attending online classes. Now, our parents are also starting to worry. It is the university’s responsibility to make some announcement and provide clarity,” said Geeta.

As the mass letter campaign did not evoke any response from the authorities, the students are now exploring other ways, like seeking queries regarding the university reopening through Right to Information petitions.

“We are deprived of our college life. Besides education we were supposed to learn other things which the university environment offers. I have been keen to read books from our library. Though we have been given online access to the library, most of the books are inaccessible,” said another student.   

The students have also compiled a list of complaints, sharing why they think that the university should resume offline education.

“The university refusing to begin offline classes not only has a direct toll on our mental health, but it is also gradually impacting our studies. With students scattered across the country, connectivity and the availability of resources is a major issue, with most of us struggling to join classes and the rest trying to find sources and reading material online. Our first year of college plays a crucial part in creating our resumes, and with campus still closed our batch is missing out on a lot of extra curricular activities, internships and interactive teaching sessions,” said one student.

TNM reached out to the University’s Registrar K Narasimha Rao for an official response. However, he remained unavailable. The story will be updated following his response. 

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